PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Facebook is cracking down. The social media giant is banning several high-profile people it deems “dangerous.”
Not only has Facebook removed their profiles from Facebook and Instagram, but they will also work to prohibit groups or pages dedicated to public figures.READ MORE: Delaware County Black Caucus Demanding Accountability Following Fatal Shooting 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility
Infowars host Alex Jones, and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan — along with four others deemed as responsible for spreading white nationalism and anti-Semitism — will have their presences scrubbed from Facebook and Instagram.
The social media giant cited policy Thursday which prohibits “dangerous individuals and organizations.”
“It’s kind of hate speech in a way, so I think it’s good for their brand to not have that,” one man said.
The move follows months of Facebook exploring ways to gain trust among its users. It also follows Saturday’s deadly synagogue shooting in California.
Facebook was utilized as a place for supporters of the shooter to offer praise.READ MORE: Fight Outside Pat's Steaks In South Philadelphia Ends With 1 Person Dead, Victim's Father And Friend Hospitalized
“Honestly, I don’t think they should do anything about it, that is free speech,” one woman said. “You should be able to say what it is that you want to say, regardless if it is hurtful to someone else.”
For more on the issue of free speech as it pertains to Facebook and social media, Eyewitness News spoke with Michael Moreland, professor of law at Villanova University.
“Facebook is a private company, so while it is a publicly traded corporation, they are pretty much left to their own devices,” Moreland said.
While the First Amendment protects individuals from government intervention, Moreland says Facebook still owns their platform and can decide who can access it.
“The Supreme Court, in a series of cases, has said that there is no category of ‘hate speech’ for purposes of what the government can regulate pursuant to the First Amendment. But that’s again why it’s important that Facebook, as a private party, can regulate bullying and hate speech on its platforms.”MORE NEWS: Lost Bet Leads To Eagles' Jason Kelce Going Bleach Blonde Like Zach Ertz
Moreland said that with figures as polarizing as Jones and Farrakhan, he does not expect much in the way of meaningful push-back from any kind of lawmakers or users on the decision.